Mental Health Awareness Week puts wellbeing in the childcare sector into sharp focus, as pressures continue to mount
Although working in the childcare sector can be a rewarding job, it can also be incredibly stressful and demanding. According to a survey produced by the Early Years Alliance, 74% of workers experience work-related stress, which makes them feel negative about their work environment and decreases their work performance.
And with 61% of childcare workers believing they lack a good work-life balance, work-related stress is affecting their personal life, relationships, or daily commitments, in many cases leading to anxiety or depression. The situation was believed to be significantly worse during the pandemic, as work stress was accompanied with financial distress and fear of uncertainty. 1 in 5 early years sector workers considered leaving the industry as they experienced lack of care and support according to the survey.
Not all workers can afford to quit in financially challenging times, but 23% have taken time off work hoping to improve their mental health. Many of those workers tried strategies like therapy or counselling to help get back on their feet.
How can counselling help in the childcare sector?
Counselling, where a trained therapist helps someone whose wellbeing is suffering to find solutions to their issues and act as emotional support, can be highly effective. It can be carried out safely and entirely confidentially. Counselling is often referred to as ‘talking therapy’, and is one of the most popular methods of therapy in the UK.
“Since 2018, leading childcare insurer, Morton Michel has offered their clients a free confidential counselling helpline, for use by staff, and their families” says Research Analyst Daniel Weir. “We believe that supporting hard-pressed staff working in childcare settings is one of the most valuable services we can provide.”
As part of Mental Health Awareness week, Morton Michel wants to explain why services like counselling can make a significant difference in someone’s life.
“The theme for Mental Health Awareness week this year is loneliness. Humans are social creatures and feeling isolated from others can be very damaging to their mental wellbeing”, adds Weir. This especially applies when people really need advice and support from someone who understands what they are going through. Conversely, having someone to talk to can make a huge difference.
“We know, of course, that many mental health issues require more treatment and support than counselling, but if you are suffering, talking to someone is always the first step towards getting the help you need. We hope our counselling line helps people to take that step” explains Weir.
Morton Michel believes that it is time to take mental health more seriously in childcare settings.
Read more about Morton Michel’s counselling service: